May 5, 2010 by Roseanne
Oooh, I love it when Gawker turns it’s sharp sarcastic lens on yoga culture. Yesterday, Gawker posed the question (and then answered it), “Is yoga out of control?” They offered plenty of examples of this out-of-controlness:
Laughter yoga. Nazi yoga. Donation yoga with Dave Matthews playing in the background… Hippie yoga. Celebrity yoga. Charity yoga. Yoga books. Yoga while eating. Yoga on the road. Yoga in the park. Yoga as a nontraditional workout for athletes in traditional sports…
Perhaps yoga’s fatal flaw was that everyone thought it was something new. Yoga was supposed to be the anti-workout; the anti-gym; the spiritual, holistic, ancient, anti-body-obsessive version of exercise. After years of media scrutiny, it turns out yoga is the anti-interesting.
“Anti-interesting?” Yeouch! But I have to admit that there is some truth in this. Do we need to hear about another yoga hybrid? Another celebrity who achieved her post-baby hot bod with a regular yoga workout? Another eco yoga product? While Gawker finds the mainstream media coverage (and yoga people in general) boring and excessive, my issues are that it trivializes and misrepresents yoga. However, I admit, I also find it fascinating and can’t stop myself from commenting on it.
In response to this Gawker piece, Social Workout asked “Has yoga jumped the shark?” (meaning, is yoga’s popularity about to start declining). My feeling is that this decline started a year or two ago when the world brought us Playboy Yoga. The positive aspects of this decline is that yoga will come back to basics, and the true practitioners will continue unscathed. The sincere and committed teachers, those who see yoga as a practice and not another skill to add to their fitness toolbox, will persevere. And yoga itself – even fuck yoga founder, Barnaby Harris, acknowledges that “yoga has survived for thousands of years and will survive for thousands more.”